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Ranking United States Plastic Surgery Residency Programs Based On Academic Achievement
John Lindsey, Jr., BS, Carter Boyd, BS, Claire Davis, Shivani Ananthasekar, BS, Srikanth Kurapati, MD, Timothy King, MD, Ph.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.

The Doximity Residency Navigator is currently the only resource that ranks plastic surgery residency programs. Given the significant influence these Doximity rankings have on medical students applying to residency programs1,2, it is prudent to ensure that these rankings are as accurate as possible. In this study we devised a new algorithm to rank plastic surgery programs based on academic achievement.
The Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database was used to obtain the following information on plastic surgery programs: the amount of 2017 National Institute of Health and Veterans Administration funding, lifetime and 5-year faculty h-indices, and the number of faculty on editorial boards of journals. Based on all of this information, an overall ranking of the top 25 plastic surgery programs was created.
The top program for annual NIH and VA funding was the University of Southern California (integrated and independent). The top programs for faculty lifetime h-index were the University of Michigan (integrated) and New York University (independent). The top program for faculty 5-year h-index was the University of Pennsylvania (integrated and independent). The top program for the number of faculty members who are on the editorial boards of major journals was Harvard University (integrated and
independent). The top program overall was Harvard University (integrated and independent)
We ranked plastic surgery residency programs based on objective data related to academic achievement. These rankings may be especially helpful to medical students applying to residency programs.
Table 1. Top 5 Integrated and Independent US Plastic Surgery Residency Programs Based on Annual NIH and VA funding.

Integrated Plastic Surgery
Integrated Funding ($)Independent Plastic Surgery ProgramIndependent Funding ($)
1University of Southern California4,190,912University of Southern California4,190,912
2University of Cincinnati2,622,548University of Cincinnati2,622,548
3University of Michigan2,461,410Harvard1,591,975
4UCLA2,264,583University of Pennsylvania369,655
5Stanford University1,639,298University of Pittsburgh292,600

Table 2. Top 5 Integrated and Independent US Plastic Surgery Residency Programs Based on Lifetime h-index of Faculty.
Integrated Plastic Surgery ProgramLifetime h-indexIndependent Plastic Surgery
Lifetime h-index
1University of Michigan19.00NYU18.12
4NYU18.12University of Pennsylvania15.76
175Stanford University17.95Johns Hopkins15.70

Table 3. Top 5 US Plastic Surgery Residency Programs Based on 5-year h-index of Faculty
Integrated Plastic Surgery Program5-year h-indexIndependent Plastic Surgery Programs5-year h-index
1University of Pennsylvania9.41University of Pennsylvania9.41
2University of Michigan8.86Johns Hopkins8.30
3Johns Hopkins8.30Harvard7.83
5Stanford University7.70UT Southwestern5.83

Table 4. Top US Plastic Surgery Residency Programs Based on Faculty Position on Major Journal Editorial Boards
RankIntegrated Plastic Surgery ProgramNumber of journal editorial boards staffed by facultyRankIndependent Plastic
Surgery Program
Number of journal editorial boards staffed by faculty
2Cleveland Clinic122 (tie)Johns Hopkins8
3Stanford University102 (tie)University of Pittsburgh8
4 (tie)Johns Hopkins84University of Florida7
4 (tie)University of Pittsburgh85 (tie)Emory, UC Davis, NYU6

Table 5. Top 25 US Integrate and Independent Plastic Surgery Programs based on Overall rankings.
Integrated Plastic Surgery
Independent Plastic Surgery Program
2Stanford UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania
3University of MichiganUniversity of Pittsburgh
5University of PennsylvaniaJohns Hopkins
6Washington University in St LouisUniversity of Southern California
7NYUUniversity of Cincinnati
8Johns HopkinsEmory University
9University of PittsburghUniversity of Florida
10Duke UniversityUC Davis
11Ohio State UniversityVanderbilt University
12University of CincinnatiUT Southwestern
13UC San FranciscoUniversity of Utah
14Emory UniversityJackson Memorial
15Cleveland ClinicCooper University Hospital Program
16University of Southern CaliforniaUniversity of Virginia
17NorthwesternUniversity of Illinois Chicago
20University of ChicagoRush University
21UT SouthwesternUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
22University of WashingtonLSU
23University of FloridaIndiana University
24Texas A & M / Scott and WhiteLahey Clinic Program
25University of KentuckyTemple University

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